Tag Archives: Star Trek

Best Moments of TNG: 20, 19

20. Data Wins at Stratagema

Episode: Peak Performance (2.21)

One of a few moments on the list that isn’t a climax. After Crusher unwittingly saves the day again (heh, adults) to survive the Ferengi, Data accepts a rematch with Kolrami after he impossibly loses a game of Stratagema. It’s one of many points of character development for the android, who is beginning to learn how he can positively affect the humans around him.


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Best Moments of TNG: 24, 23

24. Saucer Separation and Reattachment

Episode: Encounter at Farpoint (1.01)

There was a lot wrong with the show’s pilot. The characters were mostly stiff, the lighting was off, and Troi was in too much pain. But the music was fantastic, and showing off their entire special effects budget with the all-new saucer separation and reattachment was a brilliant idea. Both of these moments still give me chills.


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Best Moments of TNG: 26, 25

26. Picard Regrets Adultery

Episode: The Perfect Mate (5.21)

Picard, ever the diplomat, struggles with the rights of a woman who was bred specifically to be a gift to a warring neighbor. The first person she mates with, she becomes permanently bonded to, able to provide them immense pleasure. In a moment of weakness Picard allows himself to be bonded to her, one night before her wedding. The end result in heartbreaking.


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Best Moments of TNG: 28, 27

28. Barclay’s Holodiction

Episode: Hollow Pursuits (3.21)

They had to have an episode where somebody uses the holodeck for unseemly purposes. They kind of chickened out and brought in a new character without a reputation to sully; thankfully, they wrote the character very well and we were treated to many episodes with Reginald Barclay. Below is the moment he gets caught by Riker and Troi. Priceless.

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Best Moments of TNG: 36, 35

36. Seeing Through Geordi’s Eyes

Episode: Heart of Glory (1.20)

When boarding a Talarian freighter in the Neutral Zone, Geordi tests out his visual acuity transmitter so that the bridge crew can see what he sees through his VISOR. In a season short of character development, this scene significantly helps two characters. Geordi, as we get to understand him better, and Picard, who openly displays empathy and acceptance of another crew member. Plus, it looks kind of cool. It’s too bad they never used this device again.

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Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Final Unity

Publisher: Spectrum Holobyte
Developer: Spectrum Holobyte
Year: 1995
Platform: DOS; Macintosh

With characters, actors, visuals, and sounds straight from one of my favorite television shows, I figured this game would have a hard time displeasing me. But it missed on all cylinders, and probably needs a new warp drive to boot.

In A Final Unity, you find the Enterprise unwillingly involved in a Garidian civil war and later in a race with the Garidians and Romulans to discover the power behind the mythological Unity Device. Several missions await, and on the way you run into Ferengi, Klingons, Vulcans, and a few new alien species. The plot is dished out slowly and effectively in gameplay and cut scenes, culminating in a satisfying end game reminiscent of Judgement Rites.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - A Final Unity DOS A zoological society governed by females.

Sadly, the plot is the only redeeming quality of the game outside from what the show itself brought to the table. The ship interface is downright maddening. The battle station and engineering are simultaneously slow and confusing, let alone uninteresting. While you can leave the controls up to Worf and La Forge, respectively, I was left yearning for the system in the Interplay games, which says a lot. Navigation is damn near impossible when the game doesn’t automatically set the course and speed for you.  You’re given a three-dimensional view of space, and discerning between sectors, neutral zones, and nebulae is a puzzle in itself. Finally, Starfleet gives many vague orders that are misleading at times. Sometimes, the plot advances simply by waiting for an indefinite period of time, with little clue that waiting, is in fact, what advances the game.

If that were all, I could forgive this section of the game. But away team missions are not much better. You can take any member of the crew on your away teams, and who you take matters very little, most of the time. Each crew member is given a ton of generic responses to every possible action and are not always in character. Who you control on the away mission is also usually irrelevant, and more or less is up to whose voice you’d rather hear at that moment. And while there are some conversation trees, there are rarely consequences for saying the wrong things until the end game, where you must control Picard. The puzzles themselves are fine, with some creative and original ideas and some clunkers. Regardless, some of the puzzles simply involve, again, too much waiting.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - A Final Unity DOS Romulan Warbirds closing in.

Yet, all of these faults pale in comparison to the most glaring atrocity in A Final Unity. The series was a veritable joy to watch week in and week out for two reasons.  The first one, intelligent and engaging stories, is present. But there was hardly an episode of TNG where I wasn’t laughing out loud on several occasions. There was a sense of humour underlining nearly every story, and sadly, there is absolutely nothing worthy of a laugh, or even a smile, in this game. Riker makes no mention of his exploits with women.  Data doesn’t ramble off his thesaurus nor makes any social faux-paus. Worf doesn’t even get to say, “Klingons do not play video games!” In short, the characters, while having the voices of their original actors, had none of the charm or personality. A significant reason for my enjoyment of 25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites was how well the writers embodied the characters and integrated them into the story. The rivalry between Bones and McCoy was there, as well as Scottie’s pleas in vain about the damage to engineering. And William Shatner’s overacting was funny enough on its own accord. I was hoping that perhaps Wesley Crusher could make an appearance so Picard could belt out, “Get the boy off my bridge!”  But, alas.

If you are a hard-core fan of Star Trek, you will probably enjoy this game, at least to some degree. But I found this adventure, despite the few positives, an insult to the fans.

Star Trek: Judgment Rites

Publisher: Interplay
Developer: Interplay
Year: 1993
Platform: DOS

Review: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Interplay obviously took this to heart when creating the sequel to 25th Anniversary. They changed virtually nothing about the setup, and once again were able to get all of the actors from the show to reprise their roles.

However, Judgment Rites elevates to legendary status with a few key additions. First, while the fighting interface remains difficult, it is now optional, a sigh of relief for those who dislike action or mediocre controls. Second, while the story begins a little slow, the plot has been tightened and leads to one truly satisfying end game. It is difficult to find a flaw in this adventure.

Sidebar: Doesn’t Majel Barrett have space’s most beautiful voice? She provides the voice of the Enterprise computer and I searched extensively for every computer entry just to hear her. As a bonus, the computer references plot points from the prequel and from the original television show.

Contemporary RatingHigh. While the battle system would annoy modern gamers, it’s entirely skippable, and there’s nothing in the rest of the game that isn’t awesome.

Cruelty RatingPolite.